One-year-olds are neither babies nor toddlers. This is why toddler activities are so special. Find out how to harness your child’s interests and creativity with these crafts, educational games, sensory activities, and activities to teach a 1-year-old.
One-year-old children can benefit from activities that they can do without assistance. Discover what one-year-olds can do in this post. Happy learning!
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One Year Old Activities for Playful Fun
These play ideas for 1 year olds will keep your baby…or toddler…busy all day long! For best results, engage your child with the following techniques:
- Be present – put away both your & their screens!
- Establish boundaries – 1-year-olds like to know how far they can push both physically and emotionally.
- Make eye contact – this is the time kids learn how & when to make eye contact. Establish a good example.
- Praise often, smile, and laugh!
- Above all, listen.
Easy and Fun 1 Year Old Activities
1. Easy Toddler Sensory Activity
This practical sensory activity from Kids Activities Blog will have your baby exploring food. They could discover the smell, whether it is hot or cold, and more!
2. Edible Finger Paint Activity
This edible finger paint by Hands On As We Grow is made from applesauce! You can use this fun technique to teach a one-year-old to read, including alphabet songs and sounds. How fun!
3. Play with Toys
Pull out your little one’s favorite toys…but only one at a time. One of the secrets to keeping kids engaged with their toys is to limit their exposure over time to them. Many families have a system of toy rotation which can help keep toys fresh upon their return!
This may naturally happen by toys migrating to the bottom of the toy bin! But if you need help, then consider having a covered box of toys that rotate through the garage or a closet shelf.
Make 2 or 3 play areas that your 1 year old can crawl between. It is a way to encourage gross motor skills like crawling between fine motor skills like sensory play.
4. First Letter Activity
This super simple letter activity from Kids Activities Blog will help your one year old get familiar with letters!
5. Time for Snacks
Everything is new and wondrous to a one year old! And snack time is no exception. Try including new types of food, new textures and new tastes to your snack rotation. Toddlers are naturally adventurous when it comes to eating and snack time might be the perfect time to grab and try something that might be a little out of the ordinary when it comes to toddler food.
6. Little & Big Hands
This engaging activity for baby from Little Moments is simple. All you’ll need is your fingers… and some TLC! This is one of the best activities that can be done anywhere!
7. Stroller Stroll Activity
Getting outside and exploring your neighborhood with your busy toddler from the vantage point of a stroller can be a really big toddler adventure. Whether you jog or walk, the view changes all the time and with the seasons so is the sensory experience. 1 year olds enjoy repetition so taking the same route daily and pointing out the changes can be an excellent educational game.
8. Muffin Tin Game
This simple muffin tin activity via Kids Activities Blog makes a fun game out of items you already have around the house! Keep a 1-year-old occupied and stimulated. The best part…it doesn’t have to involve expensive toys or costly outings and works as an easy DIY busy board!
9. Trip to the Park
Going to the park can be the highlight of a toddler’s day. Quite honestly, it can be the highlight of mom/dad’s day too (don’t forget to include older siblings)! If you live in a warm climate like I do, going early in the day can be really helpful in keeping everyone cool. Exploring what adventures the park has to offer is so much fun. Finding new parks in your town can be fun for the entire family.
10. Play with Food
If your littles are going to play with food anyway, you might as well make a fun activity out of it! Check out how No Time For Flash Cards did it!
11. Play in the Backyard
No matter how engaging your backyard MAY seem to adults, remember that 1 year olds are on a whole different level of sight…and adventure. Simple activities such as finding rocks, sticks and treasures can fill their day with wonder. I Spy games boost cognitive, physical and emotional skills. Playtime is educational and filled with easy activities.
12. Sticky Treasures Activity
So much sticky fun for a baby with this simple contact paper idea from Child Central Station! Early learning can get kids off on the right track. These fun games that teach shapes, colors, numbers, letters through leaves and nature can help kids develop important skills.
13. Bath Time Fun
Bathtime is fun! It is as simple as that. Yes, you can have toys in the bathtub, but really sometimes just a cup is all you need. See how water moves, feels, smells, tastes (no!), and reacts to motion is a huge sensory education for your 1 year old. Little fingers can grip the scoop and see what happens when the water drops. Try adding kitchen utensils, water bottle shaker, small pots and pans too!
14. Manipulative Fun Activity
If your baby is too young for small manipulatives, try these fun ideas from This Reading Mama instead! It is a little like puzzle pieces to little fingers.
15. Play with Play Dough
If you have a toddler who likes to place things in his/her mouth then traditional play-doh may not be the best idea for play. Try an edible play dough recipe instead and keep a supervising eye!
Play-doh is a great sensory experience from start to finish. Kids learn cause-effects when they create shapes and attempt to create what is in their head. They also see how the texture changes, softens, hardens, flattens and so much more.
16. Baby Can Read!
It’s never too early to start reading with your baby! Here are some ways to make it fun via The Pleasantest Thing!
17. Crawling Races Activity
A toddler’s first competition can be with a sibling, parent or care-giver because the playing field is leveled when you race while crawling. Set up a starting and finish line and then make a big deal about the race.
You may never finish because you are laughing so hard.
18. Simon Says
Introduce this simple game during toddlerhood. It can be a ton of fun while boosting cognitive and emotional skills…not to mention physical ones as well.
The entire family can get involved and you never know who will win!
19. Books for Toddlers
These fun books for babies from The Educators Spin On It turn reading into an activity they’ll absolutely enjoy!
20. Scavenger Hunt Activity
Finding common objects is a really fun activity that 1 year olds will embrace. You can do a simple verbal list or hand them a picture list. One year olds are developing new skills every day, and you can encourage their curiosity and assistance with fun activities, such as this scavenger hunt!
21. Obstacle Course Activity
This is a great outdoor activity at the park or in the backyard, but my favorite way to play is indoors — especially on those rainy days when toddlers need to work out the wiggles.
Set up a course using things around the house like chairs, books, toys, pillows, ropes, sheets and whatever else you can find. It is amazing how much exercise you can get while running through your own indoor obstacle course.
22. Singing Rhymes Together
Your little ones will love listening to you sing rhymes to them! Soon they’ll be singing on their own and don’t forget that sing alongs are great times for dance parties! Check out different nursery rhymes via Rainy Day Mum
23. Hide and Seek Activity
This childhood tradition is perfect to begin while one year old. Object permanence is something that toddlers are still exploring and figuring out HOW and WHERE to hide boosts cognitive, physical and emotional skills.
24. Peek-a-Boo! (Advanced Version)
Like hide and seek, toddlers are still tickled by the idea of hiding. But they are too advanced just to fall for hands over face. But look for other ways to have fun with this concept like covering a toy or a body part. Or let them lead the game.
25. Snow Drop Game
Your baby will love hearing the sound these snowflakes make as they drop into the jar! They’ll be honing their fine motor skills at the same time! Learn how to do this toy by yourself via Kids Activities Blog.
26. Stacking Blocks
Stacking is exhilarating especially in the first year! Building something that didn’t exist and then pushing the boundaries of how tall it can go is a learning experience that can be fun and exciting. Stacking blocks are always a fun way to keep your 1-year-old’s sensory bin. What will happen if you add just one more block?
Spatial relationships and how things move is a big part of exploring being a 1 year old. Age-appropriate puzzles can help boost these skills and challenge toddlers’ knowledge without being too frustrated.
28. DIY Shaking Bottle
What a fun visual activity for babies from Kids Activities Blog! How many items can you find? This is a great way to keep your kids entertained for any season of the year!
29. Lift-the-Flap Books
This is the perfect time to visit the library’s section of board books that include lift-the-flap. It is like the hide and seek version of a book. Could be a great way to teach hand-eye coordination to your 1-year-old!
30. Finger Paint Activity
Finger painting is a great sensory art activity for one year olds. You can paint puppets, animals, and even you, mommy! Cover the area so you won’t have a big mess since most toddlers aren’t very coordinated at painting…yet.
31. DIY Fastener Game
Does your toddler love playing with clips and fasteners? If so they’ll love this homemade dexterity toy from Kids Activities Blog to increase coordination.
More Toddlers Activities & Fun from Play Ideas
- More activities for 1 year olds & more toddler activities
- Baby Shark song plus these shark crafts will make your toddler dance all day long!
- Check out more sensory activities for your 1-year old here.
- Don’t miss these easy and fun art projects for your little ones!
- And these 61 Painting Ideas for kids of all ages.
- Make more memories with your toddlers by creating precious handprint crafts.
- Breakfast is more enjoyable for your little ones with these creative cereal crafts!
- Enhance your baby’s motor skills through these Hand and Eye Coordination Activities.